Friday, May 20, 2011

A Last Day in Paris...

Don't want to forget...

So according to some people, tomorrow the world is going to end.  I’m skeptical, but I don’t trust my own Biblical math as much as I trust others’.  We’ll see who got it right – that crotchety 89 year-old cult leader in Colorado or the defunct Mayan civilization who predicted the world will end in 2012. 

In any case, this premonition has made me think of what I would do if the world really were to end tomorrow.  So many people write touching articles about what they miss when they leave Paris, but in homage to the seven signs of the apocalypse, here’s my list of the seven things I’d do if this were my – and everyone’s – last day in Paris.

1.  I’d consume all of my American reserves.  I’m not sure if other expats are this way, but I squirrel away whatever I can to make those cookies that mom sent for Christmas or those Reese’s holiday candies last as long as possible.  That means eating a Cadbury egg in August, and I’m not ashamed.  But if the world were to end, I’d eat them all in one go and use all of my American deodorant so at least I smell fresh for doomsday.

2.  I’d wear running sneakers with jeans.  This and other fashion faux pas pervade every fashion choice and quite frankly, it’s exhausting.  I am much more aware of what I wear in Paris than I ever did in New York.  But at the final judgment, I don’t think image will matter as much unless God is a Tyra Banks fan.  Plus, if the horses of the apocalypse were chasing me, I’d want to be able to run. 

Time to dust em off...
3.  I’d call my mom and warn her.  Since France is 6 hours ahead of the US East Coast, I’d want my family to prepare a bit.  Brush the dogs, vacuum a bit, put out some crackers and dip.  I mean, it’s the Second Coming, after all.  Jesus expects a little hospitality.  And in the case that a giant wave from the Atlantic would sweep across Paris drowning us all, I’d want to say bye bye.

4.  I’d buy canned goods, kerosene, and boxed wine.  According to some speculation, May 21st in when the virtuous people go to heaven.  The rest of us have to suffer 153 days – no more, no less – before taking the plunge to “the Other Place.”  Well I, for one, will be prepared.  While the rest of Paris is off reliving Sodom and Gomorrah, I’ll be safe in my fifth floor walk up rationing chick peas and praying for redemption by firelight while tipping the box (no other time would boxed wine be appropriate in Paris).  I don’t want to take any chances.

5.  I’d go to the Louvre and punch the Mona Lisa.  Apparently if you get too close to her or break the glass, the wall she hangs on rotates around, locking her safely away.  That’d be a site to see before the End, no?  Really, I just want her to be safe during the apocalypse…

Kraft Mac n' Cheese...finish it.  Last chance...
6.  I’d jump of the bridge at the Canal St-Martin by my house.  Not in a suicidal sort of way, not at all.  In the summertime, French kids often jump from the bridge into the putrid waters of the Canal below on a dare, and it looks like fun.  With only one day to go, I’ve got nothing to lose.  If anything, the heavy pollution in the water might protect me from nuclear radiation if Jesus decides to take the nuclear war route.

7.  I’d hit up my favorite bakery and buy all of the escargot pistache chocolat that I could.  Flaky, buttery pastry swirls with a pistachio cream studded with chocolate chips – what better last meal could there be?  I assume that French bakers will be working up until the last moment, just in case the angels or raging beasts of the apocalypse need some fresh baguettes. 

After this list is complete, I’d have a cigarette.  I mean, by that point…


  1. this is quite possibly the funniest post you've ever written. definitely not an appropriate worktime read :) I laughed out loud! I'll join you to finish off those cadbury eggs. Suppose there'd be no more need to worry about cellulite at that point....

  2. Awesome! Glad to see I'm not the only one who squirrels away US deodorant. Where will you be? I'm coming over with my Reese's Pieces! Thanks for a laugh to kick off the weekend!

  3. You are a brave man Bryan. I don't think I would dare jump in any Parisian body of water.
    I, too, have my Tom's of Maine deodorant and am sad to see it go. In fact, a care package might be needed soon! And, fascinating about the Mona Lisa! Have fun my dear. -Erica

  4. Bryan, this is so funny. great laugh!

  5. I *loved* this. I am laughing in the office with tears rolling down my face. I plan on polishing off my Reese's eggs left over from a February trip back to the USA. All 5 of them. And Thin Mints...

  6. Punch the Mona Lisa? Dude, at the very least you'd need to punch a French waiter, at least twice. In Spain we have the bullfighter. You guys have the waiter. Too cool for school.

  7. I'm with Erica. Even if the world was coming to an end, there is nothing that could get me to jump into the Canal, the Seine or any other Parisian water. I don't think I'd even do that if I was on fire. As for me, I think I'd spend my last day in La Grande Epicerie, taking photos of everything and laughing when they yelled at me not to, and eating everything as if it were a sampler tray at Sam's Club.

  8. I'm with you Bryan. I'd finish off my last 2 tins of baked beans and my pilchards in tomato sauce. Does anyone else "get" fish on toast?

  9. Clearly we all should have organized an "Apocalypse Apéro" along the Canal tomorrow so you could have watched me jump in...well, only IF the End of Days should come...

    Thanks for the comments and good luck tomorrow, everyone!!!

  10. I was wondering why clean your bathroom was on the list. I figured that would be last on my list, but you ahve a point about hospitatility. I think I've got some cleaning to do!

  11. nice post. thanks.

  12. Just found your blog via Lost in Cheeseland. I'm so glad I did. Hilarious and in a way, deeply philosophical. I almost gagged when you mentioned teenagers jumping in the Canal. Disgusting. I would raid a Nicolas for champagne and go sit at the Sacre Coeur for a good view of the end.

    Fantastic post!